Another meeting gem. This quote is one of the hundreds that I have heard in meetings and many of them I have written down in a book that I carry in my purse. Especially in the early days of Recovery, I would hear things and sometimes I didn’t understand them at all. Or I would be offended or fearful. Later on, I may have heard the exact same thing, a different day, later on in my Recovery and I may have had a completely different understanding or feelings around it.
I understood that “Alcoholism wanted me dead but would settle for miserable.” Because I was miserable, and like Step 1 says, “my life was unmanageable.” Early on, I knew that was true. But I had no idea to what extent Alcoholism wanted me to be miserable, I only knew I was indeed miserable when I came into the Fellowship. As the days have gone by, I have learned just how miserable and self-loathing I had become.
No Magic Wand
There was no wrinkling of my nose, snapping of my fingers and “TA DA” everything was great again. I still am not all that kind to myself. I want to be prettier, I want to be thinner, I want to be in better physical shape. But in time, as long as I stay away from a drink, I have faith I will get there. Another term used often was “Self-Care.”
While drinking, I only took care of myself enough so people didn’t smell booze on my breath, I carried around eye drops or blamed my bloodshot eyes on allergies (which I do have allergies but not 365 days a year). I did just enough to get by, so people wouldn’t know I was in crisis. That I was a drunk.
It has taken a while, but I stopped punishing myself for everything that went right or wrong. I took up yoga and started meditating. I started shaving my legs regularly, may sound silly before I didn’t notice if I was shaving my legs or underneath my arms, I pretended that I didn’t care, when in reality what I was doing was spending lots of energy not caring and continued to harm myself by drinking constantly. Harming myself was something I would learn to become a master at, along with manipulating myself. If you asked me when I was drinking if I was harming myself, I honestly think I would have chosen not to answer the question or made a joke of it. I was my own worst enemy.
At The End of the Day
Before bed and after my prayers, I usually put lotion on my feet. Thank my feet for carrying around my body all day. Last winter I didn’t even get cracks in my heels! Felt great! I also try to write a few things down on a Gratitude List. 3-5 things, nothing huge but it’s a way to take some inventory of my day and be grateful for the little things. I read a few passages. None of these things cost much, most cost nothing, except time and focus on me and that I count for something. That I matter. If I don’t stop and notice, I won’t change. I don’t want to be miserable anymore. Doing these small things consistently have changed my life.